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The Stanford Prison Experiment

Do people readily conform to the social roles they are expected to play? Do these roles shape behavior and attitudes? After reading a brief summary of Philip Zimbardo's simulation that has come to be known as the Stanford Prison Experiment, class members reflect on how roles influence behavior.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • The resource is best suited for high school and college level psychology classes
Classroom Considerations

  • Before using this resource, research the experiment online, especially articles critical of the simulation
  • The discussion of the experiment requires a safe and respectful classroom environment

  • The packet includes both text-based and discussion questions

  • The ethics portion of the article is incomplete and underdeveloped
Common Core

Included Materials

  • CommonLit Organization